The Best Lightroom Presets

Written by wally foster
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The Best Lightroom Presets
Lightroom presets make photo editing easier. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Adobe's Lightroom photo management and editing software enables photographers to not only organise their photos, but also to make detailed adjustments to each photograph. Users can adjust saturation, brightness, colour temperature and dozens of other aspects of each image. Yet while users may find Lightroom easier to use than Adobe's Photoshop software, it can still be daunting to find the right combination of settings that gives a photograph a particular look. Discovering the best Lightroom presets can enable Lightroom users to make complex and purposeful changes to a photograph with just one click.

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Built-In Presets

Lightroom has always been packaged with a number of built-in presets, and Lightroom 3 -- the latest version of the software -- has more built-in presets than ever. These presets typically allow users to make basic but important adjustments to the look of a photo, enabling photographers to emulate a black-and-white look, use one of several creative colour looks, or add certain amounts of sharpness or contrast with a single click. One example of how Lightroom 3 has expanded preset functionality -- there are now over 20 ways to convert a photograph to different styles of black and white.

OnOne Software Perfect Presets

OnOne Software sells a number of add-ons to Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom that enable users of those programs to make quicker adjustments to everything from sharpness to focal depth. But OnOne also provides for free on its website over 190 presets for Lightroom. These excellent presets add more depth to the types of presets already available, and also add new creative options. Some OnOne presets, for example, add vignettes to a photo; others help make skies look bluer.

Lightroom Killer Tips Presets

Lightroom Killer Tips is a website and blog that focuses on various aspects of Lightroom and the Lightroom user experience. Among other offerings, the website frequently adds free Lightroom presets that visitors can download and install. While some of these presets can be rather specific, and thus not interesting to all Lightroom users, others do a remarkable job of emulating film looks or effects frequently used by professional portrait and wedding photographers.

Pretty Presets

Pretty Presets sells packages of Lightroom presets that are targeted at creating specific effects. For example, the "Portraits" collection lets users add certain colour casts, or create a vintage look; the "Old Hollywood Glam" packages recreate photography styles from that era. While these presets could be used by amateurs looking to make their photos seem more interesting, they are probably targeted at professionals who are willing to spend money to save time and consistently create the trendy images that their clientele demands.

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